Need for urgent transfer of 80 children from fire damaged refugee camp


 Charities call on government to urgently transfer 80 children from Dunkirk ruins to family in the UK

 In response to the fire which razed the Dunkirk refugee camp to the ground last night, leaving hundreds of people homeless, charities are calling on the UK government to transfer the children from the camp who have a legal right to be with their families in the UK.

Safe Passage, a project of Citizens UK, in partnership with the Dunkirk Legal Centre and Help Refugees have identified 80 children in Dunkirk who have relatives in the UK and the right to be safely and legally transferred. Given the extreme distress that the children now face, charities are calling on the UK government to transfer them immediately.

 Currently no arrangements have been made by French or UK authorities for the safe accommodation of unaccompanied children from the Dunkirk camp leaving the children at real risk of disappearing in the chaos.

 Safe Passage have sent the list of 80 Dublin eligible children to the UK Home Office, and will be sharing that list with their French counterparts.

 Rabbi Janet Darley, spokesperson for Citizens UK’s Safe Passage project, said:

“The children Safe Passage are working with in Dunkirk should never have been in the camp in the first place; they have a moral and a legal right to be with their relatives in the UK. The government needs to learn the lessons of the Calais camp and the fire in Dunkirk and put a fully functioning family reunion system in place between France and the UK.”


 The Dunkirk Legal Support team said:

“The Dunkirk camp was never a safe place for unaccompanied minors, and last night’s fire only served to highlight that in the most horrific way. The children we are working with are in a desperate situation. We are concerned that as they become dispersed they will give up trying to reach their families through safe and legal routes and put their lives into the hands of traffickers.”

 Michael McHugh from Refugee Youth Service said:

“This situation again highlights that without access to family reunification processes or support to access French and European protections systems vulnerable young people will end up staying in unsuitable camps for lengthy periods and remain at risk of violence, exploitation or sadly being lost from the system during points of crisis.”

 Josie Naughton of Help Refugees said: 

“Today in Dunkirk, over 100 children have become homeless. More than half of these children have a legal right to be living with family in the UK. Both the French and UK governments are putting lives at risk by ignoring the situation. They need to expedite the process for family reunion to the UK, and put proper protection measures in place for those claiming asylum in France, as they should have done so long ago.”



Showing 3 reactions

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  • commented 2017-08-17 08:24:05 +0100
    The Government do indeed need the learn the lessons of the Calais Camp – that virtually non of the “Children” claiming to be so, were in fact children. The purported families most of them claimed, did not actually exist. Any links were tenuous at best, most were non existent. The majority on getting to the promised land have absconded. For the sake of the legitimate occupants of these Islands one dies indeed hope the lessons have been learnt. The majority of the occupants of The Dunkirk camp, like those of the Calais camp, are, violent, aggressive, entitled thugs, liars, cheats and scammers
  • commented 2017-04-22 13:21:05 +0100
    I would like to help. Could you please suggest how may I join this and spread the word ??
  • commented 2017-04-17 19:27:14 +0100
    One would assume based on the Calais “children” that arrived here that they are 14 going on 34.
    They destroyed the camp. I do not think we should really be rewarding such behaviour. Given they were knifing each other over a football match, I think this country is better without them.
    Citizens UK who give platforms to extremist Islamic preachers….

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